The Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge stepped out to meet people who submitted photography that represented the coronavirus lockdown to the project. The royal couple cut a stylish figure and wore masks to meet photographers as well as subjects.
In Waterloo, they met Sami Massalami Mohammed Elmassalami Ayed, a Hackney Food Hub volunteer who appeared in the picture “Sami”, submitted by Grey Hutton.
Mr Massalami confessed he was not aware the image had been entered in the contest.
He added that he received a call from the National Portrait Gallery confirming it had been entered in the project by one of his colleagues.
He said: “The Duchess called me a few weeks ago and we had such a lovely conversation.
“She told me how she wanted to build a snapshot of how Britain was coping in the pandemic, but to show all sides of what people have gone through and are still going through.”
He added: “The Duchess came across as really caring and dedicated, I was so impressed she took the time to call me.
“I told her about the work they do at the food hub, and she agreed it’s such a vital project.
“I was lucky enough to help out there for a couple of months, but they always need help throughout the year.”
The Duke and the Duchess then met specialist oncology pharmacist Joyce Duah at St Bart’s Hospital.
Ms Duah submitted the image “All in This Together”, which featured her co-workers Amelia Chowdhury and Dipal Samuel, who were working as pharmacy technicians in the Intensive Care Unit.
The photograph showed the technicians writing their names and drawing smiley faces and love hearts on their PPE aprons during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Thanking Ms Duah for her submission, Kate said: “Thank you so much for the image.
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“It had such an impact it captured the moment, it was a look behind the scenes. The story of what you experienced is so important.”
William added: “It is important for history purposes to show that actually happened.”
About her passion for photography, Ms Duah said: “I married photography and care together.
“I took a series of photos of them getting into and out of their PPE. I thought it was the most interesting aspect.
“It shows Amelia and Dipal writing their names with a marker on each other’s PPE because when a patient wakes up, they know our names. It was a very touching sentiment.
“Patients were often in a coma and so coming round confused and didn’t know who was treating them.
“But also we couldn’t even recognise each other at times without names.”
Kate helped pick 100 finalists from 31,000 participants for the project launched in May.
The selected portraits were exhibited digitally in the National Portrait Gallery’s last September.